A lot of my best food ideas come from imitation or copycat recipes. I will eat something I like somewhere and wonder if anyone has posted a recipe I can use to make it again. I found a cookie made by a vendor at a craft fair this fall that was so good I raved about it for days. Then I discovered the vendor would be at another fall festival nearby and had to go back for more of those cookies.
Thus was born my obsession with carrot cake cookies. I love, love, love carrot cake! I posted the carrot cake my sister Linda and I like to make three years ago. It’s still my favorite carrot cake recipe. I’ve also made and posted carrot cake oatmeal and even carrot cake waffles on this blog. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with carrot cake but I sure do love it!
So these cookies tasted so much like carrot cake I was impressed. They were crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and had no carrots whatsoever in them. I went to a third product fair and the vendor didn’t carry the carrot cookies that time. I was so bummed. I hit the internet and surfed my way to a recipe that sounded remarkably similar. I couldn’t wait to try it!
I bought two boxes of carrot cake mix and made a batch of the cookies for Thanksgiving. And forgot to take a single picture. Bad me. But the recipe only uses 1/2 a cake mix so I had 3 more batches to make and eventually blog about them. Today’s the day! I made a single batch and they are still as delicious as the first time. And so super easy to make!
I measured out the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisked them together.
I creamed the butter and brown sugar together with the handheld mixer then slowly added the dry ingredients and mixed them just until combined. I omitted the nuts. I don’t put them in the cakes or other recipes either!
The recipe said to chill the dough for several hours and I found that the dough was tough to handle. It was difficult to roll into balls when it was so chilled the first time I made the cookies. So the second time I chilled them for an hour and called it done. Much easier to form into balls!
I placed the balls on a sheet pan and pressed them down slightly so they would stay in place. I slid the pan into the oven and baked them for 12 minutes. The suggested range was 10-12 minutes but they hadn’t risen and begun to crack at 10 minutes. You might want to judge the time for your own oven.
I let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan then removed them to a rack to finish cooling.
As they cooled I stacked them in a container and when all were done put a cover on the container and froze the cookies. This time I was making the carrot cake cookies for the Christmas dessert buffet and I wanted them to remain fresh.
The cookies are so good I like them as is. The blog I got the recipe from frosted them with cream cheese frosting. That sounds delicious as well but with a very busy dessert buffet I was fine with unfrosted cookies. The flavors of the cookie are equally good unadorned!
Carrot Cake Cookies
1 cup flour
1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened not melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Combine flour, carrot cake mix, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl with a whisk.
In a separate bowl with a mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
Chill the dough for an hour to prevent the cookies from spreading too much.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a cookie scoop, make 1 1/2 tablespoons sized balls. Roll between hands and place on cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden brown. The cookies will look raised and slightly cracked but will set up as they cool.
After several minutes, remove the cookies from the pan and cool on a rack.
Store in airtight container.
May be frozen.
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything